Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

End of Life Trajectories

  • Three typical patterns of decline for individuals with cancer, chronic illness and frailty:
  1. For most cancers there is a short period of obvious decline leading to death.
  2. The trajectory for patients with chronic organ failure is characterized by long-term disability with periodic exacerbations and unpredictable timing of death.
  3. For those with frailty and dementia, the pattern is characterized by a slow dwindling course to death.
  • To view the end of life trajectoris click here
Clinical Management
End-of-Life Care During the Last Days and Hours
Background Information